Chinese companies utilize a variety of methods—many of them covert or coercive—to acquire valuable technology, intellectual property (IP), and knowhow from U.S. firms. These efforts are often made at the direction of and with assistance from the Chinese government, part of Beijing’s larger effort to develop its domestic market and become a global leader in a wide range of technologies. These acquisition attempts frequently target advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and virtual reality, which are still in the early stages of development but could provide dual military and civilian capabilities in the future.
This report explores six methods used by Chinese companies to acquire U.S. technology and IP, including (1) foreign direct investment, (2) venture capital investment, (3) joint ventures, (4) licensing agreements, (5) cyber espionage, and (6) talent acquisition programs. It then examines the effectiveness of existing U.S. regulations to assess and address the risks of increased technology transfers to China.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the United States Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.